To the editor: Let’s be consistent. The policy at Lourdes High School calls for “the immediate dismissal of a professional employee, without prior notice, by the principal, after consultation with both employer and the secretary of education, for engaging in conduct in or out of the workplace which, in the judgment of the employer, constitutes serious or public immorality.”

This kind of sanction exists in most, if not all, Catholic institutions. If such a punishment is meted out to a pregnant high school teacher living with the child’s father outside of marriage (which is not a crime), it should apply in spades to every bishop throughout the world, whoever knowingly enabled a pedophile priest to commit statutory rape on a child (which is a heinous crime).

In some cases, a capital felony can be charged against a pedophile when the victim of statutory rape is younger than 12 and the alleged perpetrator is 18 or older, as is always the case in these circumstances. In many jurisdictions, life imprisonment without any possibility of parole or a sentence of death may occur with conviction of such a crime.

Catholic bishops always try to “avoid scandal” no matter what. The fact is, many of have given the faithful a scandal surpassing all imaginable abominations. Surely what Jesus had to say about the scribes and Pharisees applies to the guilty in the episcopal ranks: “Practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not do what they preach. They tie heavy burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to life a finger to move them. All their deeds are done for me to see” (Matt. 23:3).

Tim Mannello


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